Who Pays for Damages After a Car Accident?

If your vehicle was totaled or damaged in a car accident, you most likely have questions and concerns regarding who is responsible for covering damages. Determining who pays for vehicle damage after a wreck is more complicated than it seems. It’s based on several variables, the most common being fault and insurance coverage.

The car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm are prepared to go above and beyond to help you understand the scope of your accident and what you’re entitled to receive in a system that is often challenging to navigate. Our legal team will strive to provide you with personalized attention and aggressive representation to obtain meaningful compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages. When you choose to work with us, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to attain fair compensation for your damages.

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Automotive Repair Options After a Car Accident

Even if you only have a few scratches and bruises from your car accident, your car might have significant damage. If your vehicle was substantially damaged in a wreck that was another driver’s fault, here are some automotive repair options you can consider. You may be eligible to get your vehicle damage repaired through the following means:

  • At-fault driver has liability coverage: In an ideal situation, the at-fault driver would hold sufficient liability coverage to pay for your car damage. Under New York State Law, drivers are required to hold a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. Therefore, it is likely—but not certain—that the responsible driver will be insured.
  • At-fault driver has no insurance, but you have uninsured motorist coverage: If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you are protected under your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. In some accidents, you may have to pay a deductible.
  • Neither you nor the at-fault driver has insurance: If neither of you has insurance, this situation can get difficult. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have any money, then you would be left to pay damages yourself. Alternatively, you can partner with an experienced car accident attorney to file a lawsuit if by chance the at-fault driver acquires adequate funds.
  • Both you and the at-fault driver have insurance: If both of you are insured, then you have a decision to make. It’s usually preferable to go through the other driver’s insurance so you don’t have to worry about paying a deductible or renting a car. If you went with your own insurance, you would only be given a rental car if you had rental reimbursement insurance on your policy. Some prefer to go through their own insurance to avoid dealing with sneaky insurance companies.

If you were found to be at fault in your car accident, you’ll have to use your collision coverage on your own insurance policy, meaning you would be responsible for paying your deductible. If you don’t have any collision coverage, you’ll be forced to pay out of pocket.

Mechanic repairing a car in a garage after a car accident

What to Know About Repairing Your Vehicle Through Insurance

When repairing your vehicle through insurance, you can contact either your insurer or the other driver’s insurer (depending on which option is more applicable to your situation) and get an estimate for the cost to repair your car. Our best car accident lawyers say the insurance company might require you to get several estimates from different body shops and pick the most affordable one, or they might have their own estimator or preferred body shop. If your car is drivable, then you can drop your car off to get fixed and the insurance company will either send you a check or pay the body shop directly.

If damages are so severe that your car can’t be driven, the insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate the damages and either have your car towed to the body shop or issue you a check to get your car from the salvage yard to the repair shop.

If your car is declared a total loss, the cost to fix it would be greater than the fair market value of the car before the crash. In this situation, the insurance company would perform a cost analysis between the market value and repair cost and pay you the lower amount.

Recover Damages With The Barnes Firm’s Car Accident Attorneys

Vehicle damage might not seem like a big deal, as long as it’s not your fault, you have insurance, and everyone involved is okay. On the other hand, being involved in a car accident can leave you in a stressful situation, especially if you are unable to work due to the damage your vehicle sustained or any traumatic injuries you may have endured in your car accident.

At The Barnes Firm, our best car accident lawyers are results-driven, highly rated and focused on injury law and have helped victims receive compensation for both damages and injuries. To speak with our trusted car accident lawyers about your crash, schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or calling our office. We’re here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000